UMass assault suspect William McKeown turns himself in to Framingham Police; incident allegedly resulted from marijuana deal

Last modified: Tuesday, February 23, 2016

AMHERST — A Framingham man who allegedly took part in an armed assault Thursday night at a University of Massachusetts Amherst dormitory that sent the campus into a lockdown turned himself in to Framingham Police Friday afternoon, according to UMass Police.

William P. McKeown, 19, one of two men sought in the armed assault that caused chaos on the UMass campus, faces charges of armed robbery, assault and battery and assault and battery with a deadly weapon, a handgun, according to a warrant UMass Police issued for his arrest.

McKeown, who was arraigned in Framingham District Court on Friday, will be arraigned at Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown on Monday, said Mary Carey, spokeswoman for the Northwestern district attorney’s office.

The criminal complaint against McKeown, written by UMass Detective Kevin Shaw, states that McKeown and a second man, identified only as “Big Al,” were allowed into the dormitory by McKeown’s childhood friend Beaux Daley, a student at UMass, allegedly to sell an unspecified amount of marijuana for $120 to Vedant Rathi, who is also a UMass student.

At some point, based on information supplied by Daley to Shaw, there was a disagreement inside Daley’s room on the third floor at Pierpont Hall. The men went into the hallway near the elevator lobby where McKeown allegedly struck Rathi in the head “with a hard object believed to be a gun,” Shaw wrote. Rathi was found bleeding from an L-shaped cut on his forehead, consistent with being hit by the butt of a gun.

Rathi was transported to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton Thursday night, where he was treated and released, according to a nursing supervisor.

UMass Police Chief Tyrone Parham said Friday morning that McKeown is not a student at UMass.

The incident forced the campus into a lockdown for nearly two hours, beginning around 6 p.m. Parham said Thursday there were “absolutely no shots fired.”

“We have a lot more work to do,” Parham said Friday morning during a news conference, adding that additional police would remain on duty in the Southwest residential area throughout Friday and into the weekend.

According to a statement issued by Framingham Police Lt. Stephen A. Cronin, his department was contacted at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and with assistance from members of the Massachusetts State Police STOP Team searched two locations in Framingham with the property owner’s consent.

While neither subject was found, a vehicle wanted by UMass Police was found at one of the locations and impounded. McKeown turned himself in Friday at 12:45 p.m.

Staff Writer Michael Majchrowicz contributed to this report. Scott Merzbach can be reached at


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, your leading source for news in the Pioneer Valley.

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061


Copyright © 2021 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy